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Guest Review: Giro Women’s LA DND Gloves

2 Giro LA DND Women's Gloves

Read the preview here

Giro Women’s LA DND Gloves MSRP: $26

Details: Moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch breathable mesh. Reinforced fingertips. Flex zones at the knuckles

Gloves are a necessity for me to mountain bike. Between sweaty palms, and crashing I like to keep my skin in place. I’m not needing a ton of padding, which is why these Giro gloves have been my goto choice for a few years now. Flexing in the fingers, lack of velcro to get caught in washing and an affordable price, everything I look for in a pair of XC or road gloves.

The only unfortunate piece of these gloves (as with most women’s gloves) are that the size large are too small for my long fingers.

Overall

4 out 5 as I’m very happy with the gloves but now wear the guys version.

Going to buy these gloves? Support BSG by buying through this link

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost for review. The link to purchase the gloves is an affiliate link and I may be paid commission if you purchase through Jenson.

Preview: 2013 Giant Anthem X 29Er 4 Women’s Bike

9 Review Giant Anthem X 29er 4

A long time ago I wrote an opinion article on why I didn’t believe women’s designed 29ers worked. Designers were being pushed so hard to get things to market that the result was lack luster, and in my opinion these bikes often handled like crap compared to their non-women’s designed brothers. The front end was flip-floppy, unless you had a crazy short stem and wide handlebar. While this works well for the true mountains, it doesn’t work well for women just learning how to mountain bike. Fast forward a few years, more experienced designers, brands with patience and maybe some more knowledge. Now you have women’s bikes that don’t have crazy head tube angles and carry well in switchbacks up or down. Thus, inspiring confidence and excitement to carry momentum through the trails.

Meet the 2013 Giant Anthem X 29er 4 Women’s

Continue reading →

Review: Sombrio Women’s Origami Jersey

6 Sombrio Women's Origami Jersey

When you hear jersey I bet you think spandex, pockets and zippers. Each of these features have its benefits; pockets for food and tools, zippers for airflow and spandex to keep close to your body. These features have very little use in mountain biking with backpacks strapped to our backs and the desire of looser fitting clothing to be able to move freely. While the free ride and all mountain movement have brought many killer clothes to production for guys, it’s limiting (as usual) for women.

Meet the Sombrio Cartel and the Origami Jersey

Sombrio Women's Origami Jersey

This jersey reminds me of a high end workout shirt from Adidas or Nike, but designed to fit with your arms extended and your torso slightly bent.

MSRP: $75
Details:

  • Seamless construction
  • X-Staticå¨ silver wrapped fiber technology
  • Antimicrobial
  • Eliminates odors
  • Regulates temperature
  • Eliminates static
  • Anti-slip hem

Fit of the Sombrio Origami Jersey

The size medium that I’ve been wearing fits like a glove. While snug, I haven’t had any chaffing under my Hydrapak or feeling of over heating. For sizing reference I wear a size medium/6 in most clothes.

Overall Thoughts

$75 is a pretty going rate of a bike jersey with pockets, zippers and do-dads. $75 for a glorified Lululemon overbuilt workout shirt is a bit much for me. While the shirt feels amazing, does everything it says it will, I’m sure those who live for all mountain riding won’t hesitate for a second to rock this shirt.

If you have the money it’s a great substitute for standard spandex. I find myself pulling this on any chance given, even for wearing off the bike. If the retail on this was closer to $50 I could see buying a couple and it being my go-to shirt. For $75 I may ask for it on a wish list for Christmas.

Visit Sombrio Cartel to see more

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review

Intro: 2014 Liv/giant Lust Full Suspension 27.5 Women’s Mountain Bike Line

9 lust header

While I’m only half way through the review of a Liv/Giant Anthem X 29er, Liv/Giant rocks us all back on our heels with the news they will only be doing 27.5″ wheels on their mountain bikes starting in 2014. Over the next week I’ll be featuring all the new models, spec and pricing. Make sure to follow the search term “Liv/giant 2014” over the next week.

What makes for a great mountain bike? I believe it’s a mix of the right fit so you are comfortable, the right balance so you can climb and descend with confidence and has to be down right sexy. The new line from Liv/giant tagged “Lust” may fit all three of those things out of the box. 27.5″ wheels, both carbon and aluminum models and geometry that on paper should fit many women well.

Liv/giant Lust Advanced 0

2014 Liv/giant Lust Advanced 0 MSRP $8,050

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, RockShox SID XX fork, SRAM XX1 drivetrain
Thoughts: This will be a “dream bike” for many women. The best of the best is on every part of this bike and I would be interested to see what a medium weighs out to. Maybe 24 lbs with some hardware swaps?

Liv/giant Lust Advanced 2

2014 Liv/giant Lust Advanced 2 MSRP $3,400

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, Fox 32 Float CTD fork, Shimano SLX & XT drivetrain
Thoughts: A more reasonable price tag, YET with a very well spec’d out parts package. This is the model I would have my eye on in this line up!

Liv/giant Lust 1

2014 Liv/giant Lust 1 MSRP $3,200

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, RockShox SID RL fork, SRAM XO/X9 shifting, with GRIP SHIFT!!
Thoughts: With a more reasonable price tag, YET a very well spec’d out parts package this would be the bike my eye is drawn to.

Lust2

2014 Liv/giant Lust 2 MSRP $2,450

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, Fox 32 Float fork, Shimano Deore
Thoughts: Does that photo of the Lust 2 have a purple rear triangle? Yes it does. With the parts and spec on this bike I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the top seller of the Liv/giant mountain bike models over $1,500. Personally, this is on the short list for my Emily’s next mountain bike!

Liv/Giant Goes to Only 27.5″ for Mountain Bikes in 2014

11 Liv/giant 27.5

While I’m only half way through the review of a Liv/Giant Anthem X 29er, Liv/Giant rocks us all back on our heels with the news they will only be doing 27.5″ wheels on their mountain bikes starting in 2014. Over the next week I’ll be featuring all the new models, spec and pricing. Make sure to follow the search term “Liv/giant 2014” over the next week.

Liv/giant 27.5

Liv/giant is dedicated to providing women with the best possible off-road cycling experience. The evolution of the 27.5-inch wheel size has led Liv/giant’s engineers and athletes to one conclusion: 27.5 is the optimal wheel size for all riding styles and levels of female riders. It perfectly combines the most desirable attributes of 26 and 29-inch wheels, giving you a ride that truly delivers the best of all worlds. This year Liv/giant’s entire off-road line-up, from sport-level to elite, features bikes with 27.5-inch wheels.

  1. Lighter Weight
  2. More Efficient
  3. Better Control

In comparison to 26 and 29-inch wheel size options, our research shows that 27.5 offers the ideal combination of light weight, efficiency, and control for female riders. Here are the factors that make this wheel size especially ideal for women.
These three factors combined create the best possible ride quality and bike fit for female riders. The inherent light weight and efficiency of 27.5 gives you the energy to elevate your riding. And 27.5 allows Liv/giant to design our 3F frame geometry to better balance female riders of all heights over the bottom bracket and front wheels for unparalleled control. It is this balance that truly defines the Liv/giant riding experience.

Released: Giant Tempt 27.5 Women’s Mountain Bikes

12 Giant Tempt 27.5

Giant has released to the wild three models of a new women’s 27.5″ mountain bike called the Tempt. Available in the 0, 2 & 5, look for full spec and pricing shortly. For now you can find below why Giant went with the in between wheel size for their new line.

Three key characteristics of 27.5 technology:

1. Lighter weight

  • 27.5-inch wheels are only 5 percent heavier than 26. By comparison, 29-inch wheels are 11 percent heavier than 26-inch.
  • Overall weights of 27.5 bikes also trend closer to 26 than heavier 29 versions of the same series.

2. More Efficient

  • 27.5-inch wheels accelerate much like 26, outperforming 29-inch wheels.
  • 27.5-inch wheels roll over obstacles with much more control than 26. That translates into more efficient cornering, acceleration and braking capabilities.

3. Better Control

  • The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better traction—which improves acceleration, deceleration and cornering. 27.5-inch wheels provide a contact patch that is similar to 29-inch wheels.
  • The larger the wheel, the larger the frame dimensions must be—and that leads to unwanted flex. A flexing frame causes sloppy handling and slower acceleration under heavy power. A 27.5 frame flexes less than a 29 frame, resulting in better control.

Bicycle Shopping: The Three Common Styles of Bicycles

16 Bicycle Categories

So you are in the market for a new bike, but you don’t know where to start? You aren’t alone!

When customers walk in to my bike shop starting their hunt for a new bike one of the most important things I ask is this: “where do you want your bike to take you?” In upcoming articles I will help you answer that question and continue to empower you in cycling. Today’s article is focused on breaking down the three most common styles of bikes and what their most broad use is. These styles or categories are: Road, Mountain, and Hybrid.

When I quickly count on my fingers the different styles of bikes that most good bike shops carry, I come up with 14 (I promise I only have 12 fingers). 14 categories of bicycles to confuse you, overwhelm you and lead you down different avenues, maybe even putting you on the wrong category so that you never ride that new bike hanging in your garage. These 14 categories don’t even include the different kinds of mountain bike wheel sizes, fat bikes, or thoughts of road bikes.

Today, we’ll be using wide strokes to paint a picture of bicycle types that can be helpful as you start your hunt for a new bike.

Road Bikes

Trek Road Bike

These bikes have round, drop, handlebars. If you haven’t been on or near a bicycle in a while then you may refer to these as a “10-speed.” They are efficient,  fast, and tend to have a more leaned over and “aggressive” feel (but not uncomfortable.) They are meant to be comfortable for the long ride, and have many different sub-categories for different uses. Triathlons, gravel races, bike touring, and so many more things can be under this category. A solid road bike that doesn’t have parts you will be replacing within the first season of heavy riding normally starts around the $1000 range.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bike

These are widely popular as they are the all terrain vehicle of bikes. Knobby, fat, tires that allow you to roll over things and go on various terrain. Most kids start off on these, and they can be found in many department stores so they are often the “gateway drug” to bikes. Your everyday bicycle shop mountain bike is between $350-650. Anything under $500-650 is probably not meant to go truly mountain biking, but instead plays the part for when you go down dirt paths, gravel and off pavement. A sturdy “single track worthy” mountain bike normally starts around $800.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid Bicycle

Though I’m a pretty performance oriented cyclist, the hybrid is my favorite category of bikes. This category is what will get folks out of the gym, off the treadmill or better yet, off the couch! The hybrid is decently efficient on the road, but normally has an inverted tread to allow for some sand and hard packed gravel riding. The fit is a bit more upright, feeling more comfortable to the rider going <2 hours. While there are extreme hybrids costing $2k with disc brakes, carbon forks and features similar to a road bike, rather these bikes normally start around $350-500 for a nice sturdy, comfortable bike with parts that will last. The hybrid is a bike that any cyclist should have in their garage for grocery getting, bar hopping and greenway cruising. There is a chance you’ll grow out of this bike when you decide you want to go further on the road, or hit more aggressive mountain bike trails. That is okay, the hybrid will always have a place in your collection.

Preview: Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

1 Giro Manta Women's Mountain Bike Shoes

As I’m reviewing the road shoe from Giro called the Solara, I’ve also been able to plant my feet in the mountain bike version called the Manta. The  shoe, fit and features are mirrored between the two models, but the only difference is the mountain bike sole for better traction and two hole cleats.

Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

MSRP: $150
Colors: Black/Silver (reviewed), White/Silver/Plum
Weight: 305 grams (size 39)
Details: Three straps, two velcro and one ratchet for easy on trail adjustments.

Out of the Box Thoughts

If you read my preview of the Giro Solara Women’s Road Shoe than there isn’t much more to say other than this is a mountain bike shoe with more scuff guards. The proof will be in the pudding if the shoe last over heavy abuse and trail testing. They are now suited up with Crank Brothers cleats and I’ll be ready to provide a full review after a few hundred miles! Until then, check them out on Giro.com.

Disclaimer: This product was provided for no charge for review

Preview: Giro LA DND Women’s Glove

6 Giro LA DND Women's Glove

There are two styles of mountain bike gloves I use. The first is your basic, light-weight, and is really there to keep your hands from slipping off your bars when they are covered with sweat, or when you slide across the hard pack dirt trails. The second type of glove I use is for longer rides, with a bit more padding in the palm and normally a size bigger for when my hands swell and my fingers “grow.”

The Giro LA DND gloves fall into the first category, with extra points for style.

Giro LA DND Women’s Gloves $26

MSRP: $26
Features:

  • Slip on design (no adjustable strap)
  • Slim fitting
  • Used on road or mtb

Full review of wear and tear in a month or so! If you are looking into buying a pair of these, support BSG by purchasing through this link at JensonUSA.

 Disclaimer: I was provided this product at no charge for review. Unfortunately, I was not paid or bribed for my opinion.